Probiotics: Scientists investigate how seaweed can give a dietary boost to gut bacteria

11 May 2018 --- US researchers examining how to manipulate gut bacteria to boost essential nutrients for better health have been “blown away” by the results they got when using dietary seaweed in mice.

Clinical merger: Novartis acquires AveXis for US$8.7bn, expands in gene therapy

09 Apr 2018 --- Novartis has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with AveXis, Inc. to acquire the US-based Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage gene therapy company for US$8.7 billion in cash (US$218 per share). The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies. The move comes just days after Novartis agreed to sell its stake in a consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion to GlaxoSmithKline.

Probi signs agreement with pharma company Cilag on probiotic OTC product

23 Mar 2018 --- Probi has signed a long-term agreement with Cilag, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, for the development of a probiotic product. The rapid growth of the probiotic segment and new exciting research on the importance of human microbiota have increased interest from pharma companies, and their consumer healthcare divisions, in probiotic product development, Probi notes.

Gelita develops controlled soft gelatin capsule fill release

12 Mar 2018 --- Gelita is offering manufacturers of soft gelatin capsules the opportunity to see first hand the complete spectrum of capsule fill release profiles – including the latest addition to Gelita’s pharmaceutical gelatin portfolio: Gelita EC for enteric performance.

US FDA Nutrition Facts label guidance prompts calls for earlier implementation date

02 Mar 2018 --- The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Scott Gottlieb, has issued new guidance on the proposed Nutrition Facts label to help food manufacturers to make the necessary changes by the upcoming compliance dates. In addition, Gottlieb unveiled plans to launch “a major educational campaign for consumers” regarding the revised labels. However, the Center of Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has noted that with the guidance, an earlier compliance date for all companies for the updated Nutrition Facts label is both “realistic and achievable.”

Food allergy experiences linked to personality traits, study suggests

02 Mar 2018 --- A new study has observed a link between certain personality traits and the way that the daily challenges that accompany food allergies are experienced by individuals. The personality trait most in conflict with the challenges is “higher openness to experience”. It is hoped that this research may help people who experience allergies – as well as parents and support groups - understand and manage them.

Probiotic boost: Researchers develop novel method of fortifying snacks with probiotics

02 Mar 2018 --- A research team has laid the foundation for a new method that could create probiotic fortified fruit snacks. The technique – developed by researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Universidade Federal do Ceará – doses apple chunks with probiotic Lactobacillus casei and dries them at high temperatures.

Colpex attains Friend of the Sea certification for omega 3 fish oil

26 Feb 2018 --- 26 Feb 2018 Peruvian company Colpex International has attained Friend of the Sea's certification for fish oil sourced from anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) fished in the South East Pacific Ocean (FAO Area 87). Colpex is a producer of semi-refined, fully refined and concentrated fish oils and among the top 10 Peruvian fish oil exporters. Friend of the Sea's standard for sustainable fish feed, fish meal, fish oil and omega 3 certifies that the oil originates only from fisheries that are compliant with Friend of the Sea’s sustainable fishing requirements (including good fishery management, selective fishing gears and social responsibility) and that a full chain of custody is in place throughout the supply and production chain. 

Consumers want industry to deliver on nutritious food, without compromising on quality: survey

23 Feb 2018 --- Consumers across EMEA want the food and beverage industry to focus on developing healthier, more nutritious food, according to new research commissioned by Ingredion. In fact, 60 percent of respondents said they feel this should be manufacturers’ top priority. However, consumers made it clear that the food industry must ensure that food quality and freshness is not sacrificed as a result. 

Lonza to expand Florida encapsulation capabilities amid product development acceleration

21 Feb 2018 --- Swiss multinational, chemicals and biotechnology company, the Lonza Group is planning to expand its late-stage clinical and commercial encapsulation capabilities for solid oral and inhaled dosage forms in North America. The company will install a new Harro Hӧfliger Modu-C MS encapsulation unit (Harro unit) at its integrated product development and manufacturing facility in Tampa, Florida, to strengthen production and bring its products to market faster. 

Fermentation focus: Naturex and Cura sign distribution agreement for koji fermented minerals

31 Jan 2018 --- Naturex has signed a global distribution agreement via its Open Innovation program (Ingenium) with Ames-based Cura for their Koji Minerals line of fermented minerals for the dietary supplement and functional food markets. This year’s launches based on Koji fermentation are a stand-alone iron with optimal bioavailability and slow release effect (results supported by two clinical studies) and a blend of seven minerals (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, chromium) particularly suitable for the multi minerals segment, Naturex reports.

Nestlé and GSK among potential bidders for Pfizer's consumer health unit, after J&J pulls out of race

29 Jan 2018 --- Johnson & Johnson has withdrawn from the race to buy US drugmaker Pfizer’s consumer health business, leaving Nestlé, GlaxoSmithKline and Reckitt Benckiser among the potential bidders, according to Reuters. Pfizer wants to sell the business, which makes Advil painkillers, Centrum multivitamins and Chapstick lip balm, for no less than US$20 billion, sources have told Reuters. The deadline to submit non-binding offers for the unit is on Thursday.

Probi signs agreement with “global FMCG company” on gut health launch, enjoys Asia-Pacific growth

26 Jan 2018 --- Probi is seeking to further expand into the functional food space with a newly signed agreement with an as-of-yet unnamed global FMCG company. The partnership relates to the launch of a product containing Probi’s bacteria for gut health in North America. In its year-end report, Probi [which is majority owned by Symrise] notes that a launch in the North American market is planned for the second half of 2019, potentially followed by launches in other territories. The agreement is expected to have a significant impact on future sales and earnings in Probi’s Functional Food business area. 

EFSA rejects Unilever black tea health claim

18 Jan 2018 --- The European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) has rejected a health claim regarding black tea’s effects on the maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation in adults. The application, submitted for authorization of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 by Unilever, pertained to “black tea beverages, either freshly prepared or reconstituted from water extract powders of black tea, characterized by the content of flavanols (expressed as catechins plus theaflavins) of at least 30 mg per 200 ml serving.” 

Dutch doctors call for energy drinks ban for under 18s, Negative health effects reported in Canadian youth

16 Jan 2018 --- Calls for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 18s have intensified in the Netherlands. Pediatricians are once again arguing for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to young people under the age of eighteen. The Dutch Society for Pediatrics says it is treating more and more young patients who report with symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue and cardiac arrhythmia. A ban is highly unlikely, however, with the Dutch Ministry of Health responding dismissively to the calls.

EFSA more than doubles safe levels for 3-MCPD in vegetable oils and food

15 Jan 2018 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has increased safe levels of the food processing contaminant 3-MCPD by two and a half fold, from the 2016 Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight to 2.0. The revision comes after EFSA experts used an updated scientific approach to reassess the possible long-term adverse effects of 3-MCPD on the kidney and male fertility. 

New supermarket in food desert may trigger economic and health gains, US study finds

20 Dec 2017 --- Opening a new supermarket in a low-income neighborhood may improve residents' economic well-being and health, even if residents don't necessarily buy healthier food from the store, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The researchers studied a low-income neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a new supermarket opened after decades of absence, and found that residents reported improvements across a number of economic and health benchmarks a year after the store opened, as compared to residents of a similar neighborhood that did not have a supermarket.

Seventure Partners’ microbiome portfolio nears critical milestones 

18 Dec 2017 --- Seventure Partners, one of Europe’s leaders in financing innovation, and a world-leader in the venture investment in the microbiome sector, is seeing rapid progress from innovation into human trials, with five of its portfolio companies advancing their human microbiome products with varying modalities and therapeutics targets in clinical trials.

Nutrition 21 launches US media campaign to support Velositol ingredient

11 Dec 2017 --- Nutrition 21, LLC has partnered with NYC-based media relations firm Pitch Publicity and clinical pharmacist James B. LaValle in a national media tour dedicated to educating consumers about the benefits of its proprietary ingredient, Velositol.

Inflammatory bowel disease rates on the rise outside West, says new study

08 Dec 2017 --- Countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America have seen a rise in incidence of inflammatory bowel disease as they have become increasingly industrialized and Westernized, a new study has found. The research – a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, UK, the University of Calgary, Canada, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong – is described by the University of Birmingham as the most definitive and comprehensive study of the global epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

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